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Mother-in Law Surgery

My mother-in-law had a surgical procedure done on T2-3 Monday for pain she was having. We urged her to get a second opinion before the procedure. She refused to get a 2nd opinion. She was taking very little pain medication and didn't seem to me to be showing typical signs of back pain. She was convinced that surgery was the only thing that could help. When I asked her what she was having done she couldn't explain any of it. She said there wasn't anything that could possibly happen that was worse than the pain she was having. My wife and I both tried multiple times to tell her to get a 2nd opinion or at least find out what the surgeon was planning to do. Not to mention insurance denied the surgery four times before they gave in.

My wife was talking to her last night (2 days post op) and she casually said that her right arm was paralyzed. My wife went on questioning and she hasn't been able to move her arm since surgery. She didn't want to call the surgeon back because she thought physical rehab would fix her right up. My wife had to get firm with her and explained paralysis is not a normal side effect. She reluctantly agreed to call the surgeon today.

I hope she just has a nerve stinger and it goes away, but to me this is a perfect example of a patient not being their own advocate for personal health. Who agrees to go under the knife without even knowing what the doctor is going to do? I shouldn't seem so frustrated about this, but I have a feeling this surgery will end up doing her in given the long run and I just can't wrap my hands around how the whole situation led up to where she is.

Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2


  • I am so sorry..............did she tell the surgeon or the nursing staff before she was discharged that she can't move her arm?
    Is your wife allowed to talk to her doctor? If not, I would strongly encourage your wife to get her mother to allow her access to talking with her surgeon and other doctors.......fast..
    I hope that it is simply nerve issues, and it resolves, but you are right to be concerned.........I would be too.
  • She hasn't mentioned to anyone other than my wife about her arm. I doubt seriously she will allow my wife to speak with the doctor. She knows we were not in favor of this procedure and after she made her decision to have it, we stayed out of it so we didn't strain family relations. Her husband should be the one speaking for her. She also has memory issues in which she is in full denial about. I believe it's clinical memory loss but she gets big time defensive if we suggest she see's her doctor about it. Just not a good situation all the way around.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • that really makes things much more difficult.........can you talk to your father in law about your concerns? Will he listen and take a proactive approach? I have a mother in law too and she can be stubborn as a mule at times.........however I adore her.....
    We have been dealing with some health conditions of hers recently and she also tends to hide those things that she doesn't want us to worry about........
  • Wow. Working on T2-T3 affected an arm.. I would tell her that she ought to call the surgeon and discuss the issue. I've had a stinger after surgery due to cubital tunnel, but it only buzzed for a day or so.

    Explain to MIL that the surgeon can treat nerve issues with medication like Topomax or Neurontin/Gabapentin. But she will have to call or give wife permission to call.

  • She went to the surgeon and he doesn't think it's anything major. As of today (Saturday) she still cannot move her arm. The surgeon hasn't talked about medications for her in order to get the arm moving. So frustrating.
    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
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